3rd year part 20: Victorian prostitutes.

In this post looked at some aesthetics of Victorian prostitutes and some history about them. This research is relevant since the child and masked man is somewhat aesthetically drawn inspired by the Victorian era, it makes sense for the mother to be drawn with similar clothing too.

1 victorian prostition

Some modern renditions.

2 victorian prostition

Some powerful madams

3 madams4 madamn

Some notes from research:
Some madams stole children to sell for prostitution.

casual prostitutes were more common the full-time prostitutes. Most of the time the husbands encouraged their wives to be one.  Any suspected prostitutes were forced to be inspected.

3 class of prostitutes
Lowest class walked the streets and used brothels
Middle class ones had their own apartments
High class prostitutes is supported by one client and financially independent.

From another source
It mentions the husbands just saw their wives as properties so would pimp them out as much as they please.

Child prostitution was legal. Age of concept was 13, however Lower-class family’s would sell their children male or female as young as 11 to prostitution. An article suggested parents to drug their children with chloroform so the children won’t struggle against the rapist. Due to this article, the public was horrified to what they read and this is the reason why the age of consent is now 16.

In some other articles, it stated children ages as young as 8 sold to prostitution.

Since prostitution was legal back then, women most commonly were arrested for drunkenness or gathering in streets. Prostitutes advertised themselves in sport guides that detailed their psychical descriptions, cost, personality and age.

Looked into American prostitution in mainly in the 19th century.

Prostitution was a highly lucrative business. Successful madams had masses of lands and became one of the wealthiest people in the country and was normally dressed richest in the area.

Red lipstick.

Quote “ Rogers provided her prostitutes with personal hairstylists and dressmakers, ensuring that they were among the most stylish women in the world.

Quote “Prostitutes in a 1916 study reported earnings between $30 to $50 per week, at a time when skilled male trade union members averaged roughly $20 per week. “this was at the time women was banned from most work.  Its stated some women worked for $3,  $5 -$6 in a factory  a week but quit  it to work In the lucrative  prostitution job.  The lowest prostitutes average between $1 to $5 per act. less successful brothels tend to be the ones that   abused their workers.

Since it was tricky trying to find reference images that aren’t just black and white with women holding their dress up or modern day take of Victorian prostitutes. Decided to ask people in the reddit forums the aesthetics of Victorian prostitutes.


In conclusion: going to have a scene to suggest the mother selling the daughter to men for money and that part of the reason why as a women/ teen commits suicide at the end. To think about if the mother is a normal prostitute worker or the madman and what class of prostitute is she. Since the research of what prostitutes looked like has been polluted it modern day interpretations of it, going to further look at Victorian dresses. However, for a starting point going to think about the mother looking out of place by how she acts, possible excessive amount of accessories. From research of the artworks/ text or modern renditions going to think about have the: breasts more exposed, sleeves going higher up the arm. Since planning to have the mother have no class, some scandalous ankle to show.
Since finding out this research, going to make a u-turn of the theme of the thesis film.  Going to strip most of the reincarnation themes out and instill the child abuse theme back in.



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Dolman, C. (2013). Child Prostitutes - Defloration Mania - The Eighth Circle of Hell by Gary Dolman. [online] Historyandwomen.com. Available at: http://www.historyandwomen.com/2013/09/child-prostitutes-defloration-mania.html [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

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Listverse. (2016). 10 Fascinating Facts About Prostitution In The Victorian Era - Listverse. [online] Available at: https://listverse.com/2016/05/03/10-facts-about-prostitution-in-the-victorian-era/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

Mail Online. (2017). America's wild west prostitutes uncovered. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4607178/America-s-wild-west-prostitutes-uncovered.html [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

Mote-historie.tumblr.com. (n.d.). MOTEHISTORIE. [online] Available at: http://mote-historie.tumblr.com/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

Sallyannecostumes.co.uk. (2010). Sally Anne Costumes » prostitute. [online] Available at: http://sallyannecostumes.co.uk/blog/?tag=prostitute [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

the dic·tion·ar·y pro·ject. (2013). identical twins. [online] Available at: https://thedictionaryprojectblog.com/2013/02/19/identical-twins/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

Thesun.co.uk. (2017). Harrowing pictures of a pregnant ten-year-old prostitute and tots begging for money capture the heart-breaking poverty of Victorian street children. [online] Available at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4287184/pregnant-ten-year-old-girl-victorian-street-kids/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

Thesun.co.uk. (2017). Harrowing pictures of a pregnant ten-year-old prostitute and tots begging for money capture the heart-breaking poverty of Victorian street children. [online] Available at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4287184/pregnant-ten-year-old-girl-victorian-street-kids/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

Vintag.es. (2017). 11 Amazing Portraits of the Most Notorious Prostitutes and Madams of the 19th Century Wild West. [online] Available at: http://www.vintag.es/2017/08/11-amazing-portraits-of-most-notorious.html [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

Williams, S. (2011). Sugar and Spice: the dark side of Victorian London. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8359166/Sugar-and-Spice-the-dark-side-of-Victorian-London.html [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

YouTube. (2015). Victorian Prostitution - The Great Social Evil. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh_191DJ88k [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].


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